Robinson in 2018
|No. 23 – New York Knicks|
|Born||April 1, 1998|
|Listed height||7 ft 1 in (2.16 m)|
|Listed weight||240 lb (109 kg)|
|High school||Chalmette (Chalmette, Louisiana)|
|NBA draft||2018 / Round: 2 / Pick: 36th overall|
|Selected by the New York Knicks|
|2018–present||New York Knicks|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Mitchell Robinson (born April 1, 1998) is an American professional basketball player for the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was selected with the 36th overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft. Before beginning his professional career, he gained national coverage for withdrawing from his commitment to going to Western Kentucky University and instead dedicate the entire 2017–18 season for training on his own, being the first player to make such a decision.
High school career
Mitchell Robinson attended Pine Forest High School in Pensacola, Florida for the first two years of his high school career, briefly transferring to Landry-Walker College and Career Preparatory High School in New Orleans as a sophomore, for whom he never played. He did appear for Pine Forest as a freshman and sophomore, but didn't make much of an impact, as he was still relatively new to basketball, only starting playing in eighth grade, during a growth spurt that took him from 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) to 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m). He first appeared in the summer league before his junior year for Chalmette High School.
As a junior, Robinson led the Owls to their first state playoff win in 19 years, and in the second round, helped give the first seed and eventual state champion Natchitoches Central High School all they could handle before bowing out, their closest playoff game until the state final. He averaged 20.9 points, 13.6 rebounds, 8.1 blocks, and 2 steals per game. He made the all-district, all-Metro, and all-State teams for his efforts. Robinson then joined Dallas-based Nike Pro Skills on the AAU circuit for the summer, winning individual honors in the EYBL and leading Pro Skills to the season-ending Peach Jam. His recruiting ranking shot up, and he earned his fifth star. Against the top players in the country, Robinson averaged 15.5 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 4.1 blocks per game, being named to the All-EYBL second team.
As a senior at Chalmette, Robinson averaged 25.7 points, 12.6 rebounds, and 6 blocked shots per outing, while earning Naismith Trophy All-America honorable mention and MaxPreps All-America honorable mention status as well as USA Today All-USA Louisiana first team honors and being named All-District, All-Metro, All-State, and the All-Metro Player of the Year from the New Orleans Advocate, as well as the St. Bernard Post Male Athlete of the Year for the parish. He led Chalmette to their first championship in their own regular season tournament in 20 years, first district title in 21 years in the toughest basketball district in the state, and to the state semifinals for the first time in 32 years. In the Owls' 4 game state playoff run, Robinson averaged 34.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 7.8 blocks. Robinson became the first Chalmette basketball player to be named a McDonald's All-American, and also played in the Jordan Brand Classic and the LHSBCA All-Star game.
Playing in the 2017 McDonald's All-American Boys Game, Robinson tallied 14 points, three rebounds and two blocked shots. He participated in the 2017 Jordan Brand Classic, scoring 15 points in 17 minutes of play, while pulling down three rebounds.
Robinson originally committed to play college basketball at Texas A&M, but then de-committed to follow coach Rick Stansbury to Western Kentucky. Stansbury had recruited Robinson as the Aggies' assistant coach. Basketball writer Jason Frakes wrote in February 2017, Robinson "may go down as the biggest recruiting coup in WKU basketball history."
In July 2017, Robinson had enrolled at Western Kentucky University for the summer semester, and practiced with the team for about two weeks before a planned team trip to Costa Rica. Sources then indicated that he had left campus, and his room was cleaned out. He was then suspended indefinitely for violating the team rules. After speaking with head coach Rick Stansbury, he was granted a release to transfer, and barring an unexpected decision by the NCAA, would have had to sit out the 2017–18 season.
With the hope that a waiver would be granted by the NCAA, Robinson took visits to Louisiana State University, University of Kansas, and the University of New Orleans in August 2017. On August 27, Robinson returned to Western Kentucky a month after leaving campus.
On September 18, Robinson announced he would forgo college and prepare for the 2018 NBA draft on his own accord. He would be the first recruited draft pick to wind up not playing for any college, professional, or high school/postgraduate team throughout an entire year before entering an NBA draft, although he would still be credited as coming out of Western Kentucky by the NBA. Furthermore, because of his brief time going to summer classes in Western Kentucky, he was ultimately barred from participating in the NBA G League later in the season due to G League rules. The ruling also affected a few similar prospects who were stuck in difficult situations at the time as well, like Billy Preston and De'Anthony Melton. The announcement also influenced at least one person to train by themselves for a year before entering an NBA draft, as another five-star recruit named Darius Bazley originally planned on not going to college at Syracuse University in order to try out for the NBA G League before deciding against that as well, claiming that it was the only league where winning does not matter after all.
Robinson was named one of 69 players who planned to participate in the NBA Draft Combine. However, on the day of the event, Robinson withdrew from all combine events.
New York Knicks (2018–present)
On June 21, 2018, Robinson was selected with the 36th overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft by the New York Knicks. After appearing for the Knicks in the 2018 NBA Summer League, where he set summer league records for blocked shots and offensive rebounds, he signed a multi-year, rookie scale contract with the Knicks on July 8, 2018. After struggling with an ankle injury during the preseason, Robinson would make his professional debut on October 17, recording 2 points in a 127–106 win over the Atlanta Hawks. Three days later, he grabbed his first two rebounds alongside a single point in a 103–101 loss to the Boston Celtics. Robinson made his first start on October 26, recording 7 points and 6 rebounds in 29 minutes of action in a 128–100 loss to the Golden State Warriors. On October 29, he recorded 11 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 1 block in a 115–96 win over the Brooklyn Nets. On November 2, Robinson recorded his first double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds (alongside 3 assists and 3 steals) under 34 minutes of action in a 118–106 win over the Dallas Mavericks. On November 11, Robinson set a Knicks' rookie record with 9 blocks in a 115–89 loss to the Orlando Magic. On March 28, 2019, Robinson recorded season highs of 19 points and 21 rebounds in the Knicks' 117–92 loss to the Toronto Raptors, and became the first Knicks' rookie since Willis Reed in 1965 to record 19 points and 21 rebounds in a game.
On July 3rd, 2019, Robinson announced he was changing his jersey number from 26 to 23 in honor of two childhood friends who had died. He chose 23 because one friend wore 2 and the other wore 3.
National team career
Robinson was named to the preliminary roster of the United States national under-19 team in 2017, but did not make the final cut for the 12-men squad for the 2017 FIBA Under-19 Basketball World Cup.
At the tryout, Robinson measured 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) without shoes, 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m) with shoes, 223 pounds (101 kg), with a 7 ft 4 in (2.24 m) wingspan and 9 ft 3 in (2.82 m) standing reach.
Robinson has been called by some analysts "the best shot blocker in his class", with uncommon closing speed and a long reach that led to numerous highlight reel blocks. He uses that speed also to run the fast break exceptionally well for a big man of his size, being called the "most entertaining player" in the New Orleans area for his ability to convert alley-oop dunks. Robinson improved his free throw shooting over the course of his two years at Chalmette, and developed range from behind the three point line, making as many as 5 in a game. NBA draft projections have compared his game to DeAndre Jordan and Tyson Chandler.
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
- "Pace boys basketball sends a big statement with win vs. Pine Forest". USA TODAY High School Sports. December 4, 2013. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
- "Chalmette makes the most of new big man in rout over Salmen in summer league". The Times Picayune. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
- "4-star center Mitchell Robinson enrolls at Chalmette for 2015-16 season". The Times Picayune. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
- "Toppers sign 5-star center Mitchell Robinson". ESPNKY. November 16, 2016. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
- "Mitchell Robinson". Retrieved July 6, 2017.
- "Chalmette 57, East Jefferson 32: Owls gain first outright district title in 21 years". Retrieved July 22, 2017.
- "Chalmette 83, Helen Cox 69: Mitchell Robinson, Glenshaw Amos send Owls to semis". Retrieved July 22, 2017.
- "Mitchell Robinson ready to 'make a difference' at Western Kentucky". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
- "Official Basketball Box Score -- Game Totals -- Final Statistics East Team vs West Team" (PDF). jordanbrandclassic.com. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
- "Ex-A&M recruit commits to Western Kentucky". ESPN.com. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
- "Top recruit Mitchell Robinson gives hope to WKU basketball fans". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
- Chiari, Mike. "5-Star C Mitchell Robinson Reportedly Leaves Western Kentucky Campus". Bleacher Report. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
- "Western Kentucky suspends 5-star freshman after he bolts from campus". CBSSports.com. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
- "Mitchell Robinson granted release to transfer from WKU". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
- "5-star recruit Mitchell Robinson expected to pick between UNO, Kansas: source". NOLA.COM. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
- "'This is where I want to be': Top recruit Mitchell Robinson is back at Western Kentucky". kentucky. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
- "Five-star big man Mitchell Robinson will bypass college, begin training for 2018 NBA Draft". ScoutHoops.com. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
- Dauster, Rob (September 18, 2017). "Mitchell Robinson is not a trailblazer; poor decisions forced him into the worst one-and-done option". CollegeBasketballTalk. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
- "Mitchell Robinson Won't Play In The G League Due To An Obscure Rule". UPROXX. January 12, 2018. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
- "Former Chalmette star Mitchell Robinson goes to New York Knicks in NBA Draft 2018". NOLA.com. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
- "Knicks' Mitchell Robinson had most blocks per game in summer league history". hoopshype.com. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
- "New York Knicks sign second-round draft pick Mitchell Robinson". NBA.com. July 8, 2018. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
- Berman, Marc (November 11, 2018). "Knicks' rookie rejection machine puts on an absolute show". New York Post. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
- "Raptors rout Knicks again, win 117-92 without Leonard". ESPN.com. March 28, 2019. Retrieved March 29, 2019.
- Berman, Marc (March 28, 2019). "David Fizdale wasn't in a positive mood after Knicks' blowout loss". New York Post. Retrieved March 29, 2019.
Playing at his active best with alley-oop dunks and putbacks, Robinson still became the first Knicks rookie to log a 19-and-21 ledger since Willis Reed in 1965.
- "Mitchell Robinson Named to NBA All-Rookie Second Team". NBA.com. May 21, 2019. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
- News, the Daily. "Robinson doesn't make final cut for USA U19 team". Bowling Green Daily News. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
- "Mitchell Robinson - NBADraft.net". www.nbadraft.net. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
- Phillips, Scott (August 17, 2016). "CBB Recruits with the Best Chance to Play for Team USA in Tokyo 2020". Bleacher Report. Retrieved April 11, 2019.